A tip of the hat to the organizers of the recent Pendleton Whisky Music Fest event at the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds.

At least 12,000 people danced and drank the night away Saturday, July 10, during the musical festival.

The show drew people from across Oregon and Washington, many seeking their first concert experience in months — or years.

Grammy-nominated country artist Toby Keith was the headliner, with opening acts Cole Swindell, Clay Walker, Clare Dunn and DJ Sovern-T. The weekend festivities began July 9 with a pre-concert party that saw thousands dancing in the streets of downtown Pendleton.

A number of people help make the event a success, from the organizers, to event volunteers, to the artists to the fans, everyone helps make this happen.

The area’s summer wouldn’t be fully complete without Whisky Fest, and we’re happy that another one went off successfully.

A kick in the pants to the looming fuel shortage that could severely hamper firefighting efforts around the Western United States.

Sporadic shortages at some tanker bases in Oregon and Utah already have been reported. Thankfully, however, no shortages have been reported at the La Grande/Union County Airport, where tankers are based, but the airport is preparing for the possibility.

Airport officials, aviation supply companies and jet fuel transport companies said jet fuel demand declined sharply and supply chains atrophied during the coronavirus pandemic. They have yet to bounce back in the Western U.S. even as the economy zooms ahead and more passengers flock to airports for long-delayed trips.

It’s no secret that the West is a tinderbox this summer with a several large fires already scorching a number of acres, putting structures and lives at risk. One of the key components to combatting these blazes is large tankers that drop retardant on the fires.

A world where tankers can’t fly or are delayed is one that puts lives, homes and communities at risk.

A tip of the hat to Harold Nelson and his 50-year career in aviation.

Nelson recently held a small reception at his business, Pendleton Aircraft Service, to celebrate his two awards from the Federal Aviation Administration — the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.

Nelson arrived in Pendleton in 1969 as a shop foreman for a repair shop called Pendleton Airmotive. In an era before airline deregulation and Essential Air Service, major airline services stopped in Pendleton. In need of a mechanic, Nelson said United Airlines trained him to repair the Boeing 727s and 737s that flew through town.

Nelson started his own business, Pendleton Aircraft Service, and although the planes he works on today aren’t as large as the Boeings he once serviced, business remains steady.

Kudos to Nelson for the awards and for the longevity of his business.

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